Put simply, virtual learning or a virtual learning environment (VLE) is an experience that allows individuals to build knowledge using digital mediums, such as computers, phones, tablets, or anything else.
Virtual learning is commonly used to regularly train and track the progress of the workforce with ease. It also allows workers to improve at their own pace, with content that is easily accessible through a device connected to the internet, wherever they are.
As a result of widespread disruption due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, more businesses will now look to utilise virtual learning to ensure their employees are continually developing their skills.
To help provide some background into virtual learning, as well as outlining some of the best methods to improve learning retention, we’ve created this helpful guide below.
Statistics related to virtual learning in the workplace
Alongside the development of modern technology, virtual learning and e-learning platforms have become more widely accessible for everyone.
In comparison to traditional classroom learning, virtual learning platforms can be easily and quickly updated to offer the most recent materials and information.
The agility of this prevents learning materials from becoming irrelevant, and ensures they remain interesting and engaging for individuals. This is something we have previously covered in our guide on how virtual learning can develop an agile workforce.
Below are some key statistics on virtual learning in the workplace, both now and in the future:
Virtual learning methods have a retention rate of up to 60% (Shift)
Virtual learning typically requires 40-60% less employee time than learning in a traditional classroom setting. (Dexway)
The global corporate e-learning market size will be worth $50 billion by 2026. (Business Wire)
60% of Internet users believe that online courses are preferable to fit their lifestyle and schedules. (SkillScouter)
Methods that can be used in a professional setting
While virtual learning covers most programmes conducted via digital mediums, there are several methods that have been continually proven to enhance development on an organisational scale.
At MDA Training, we believe that the following methods work best to engage with employees, providing them with flexible options to aid their personal development in the workplace:
- On-demand microlearning and e-learning modules
- Custom-designed interactive PDFs and workbooks
- Training films and filmmaking activities
- Virtual classroom sessions and webinars
- Live facilitator-led group discussions and activities.
FAQs related to virtual learning
Q. What is a virtual learning environment (VLE)?
A. A virtual learning environment (VLE) in the workplace refers to an online platform that offers a learning portal for employees.
Q. How can virtual learning help employees at different levels?
A. It allows workers of all capabilities to progress at their own pace and gives them extra time to effectively learn with the option to spend longer on topics that they are unsure of and conduct more in-depth research.
Q. How accessible is it?
A. The majority of people now have regular access to a smartphone, a tablet or a computer, meaning learning can happen whenever and wherever, at the employee's convenience.
Q. How easy is it to change or update a programme?
A. In comparison to traditional classroom learning, virtual learning platforms can be easily and quickly updated to offer the most recent materials and information. This prevents your learning materials from becoming irrelevant and ensures they remain interesting and engaging for your workforce.
Q. Is digital learning more expensive than classroom-based learning?
A. Virtual learning programmes are typically less expensive than classroom-based programmes, as they do not require training venues to be hired. They also do not incur any travel costs, and are proven to be more environmentally-friendly. In fact, people who take advantage of e-learning through an online programme produce 90 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than a student who attends traditional classes in person and travels to do so.
MDA Training’s approach to virtual learning
At MDA Training, we believe that online learning is crucial. Our portfolio of interactive digital activities, online simulations and facilitator-led virtual sessions are designed to assist a range of business needs, from early careers development to management and leadership training.
Our world-class training specialists tailor their training solutions to meet specific goals, objectives and KPIs, providing a fun and engaging programme that helps to drive positive change among employees.
Typically, we would blend virtual training with classroom-based training to create a memorable experience. However, as the coronavirus pandemic continues and social distancing measures remain in place, we have adapted our digital solutions to ensure that our clients are not limited in their options.
Below is a video snippet of an early careers training programme we provide at MDA Training:
Our virtual learning programmes
We specialise in providing virtual learning programmes for specific market sectors. Please visit the specific sections of our website below to find out more:
- Banking training
- Asset management training
- Insurance training
- Professional services training
- Manufacturing & engineering training.
To summarise, virtual learning is something that businesses should consider when creating and implementing training programmes for their employees. Especially given the current climate, many companies will now rely entirely on digital mediums to safely communicate with their people.
Of course, finding the right virtual learning programme is a whole different challenge altogether. While these methods are useful, they need to be utilised correctly in order to see positive results and a return on investment.